Xbox Series X: Everything We Just Learned About Microsoft’s Next-Gen Console

Microsoft’s next-gen gaming console, formerly known as Project Scarlett, has been revealed as the Xbox Series X. The official announcement came out of The Game Awards 2019, but here at GameSpot, we have the exclusive scoop on many more details about the upcoming console. We spoke with Xbox boss Phil Spencer and partner director of program management Jason Ronald to get insight on just how powerful it’ll be, the idea behind the name and design, how it’ll fit into the wider Xbox ecosystem, and so much more.

We’ve compiled all our stories into this hub to summarize everything we know about the Xbox Series X. We’ll have even more coverage soon, so be sure to check back for more information. You can catch even more in our exclusive interview and feature article on the Xbox Series X.

Table of Contents [hide]

  • Why The Name Xbox Series X And Vertical Design
  • What We Know About Performance And Specs
  • But What Will Games Actually Look Like?
  • The New Controller
  • How Cloud Gaming Fits In
  • Pre-Orders And Release Date

Why The Name Xbox Series X And Vertical Design

You probably have questions about the name itself: Xbox Series X. It’s not the flashiest or boldest name, but it’s indicative of where Microsoft is going with its Xbox ecosystem. Phil Spencer explained the naming convention and philosophy in more detail.

You may also be wondering why the Xbox Series X deviates quite a bit from the Xbox One in terms of physical design. To be clear, it can be laid down horizontally and function properly even though it’s presented as a PC tower-style design.

  • Why Project Scarlett Was Named Xbox Series X
  • Xbox Series X, Formerly Project Scarlett, Looks Like A PC Tower
  • Xbox Series X: Microsoft Reveals Scarlett’s Look And Name At The Game Awards
The Xbox Series X and the new controller.
The Xbox Series X and the new controller.

What We Know About Performance And Specs

Considering how powerful the Xbox One X was (and still is), the Series X would have to go the extra mile to truly set itself apart. And by all accounts, the new console sounds like it’ll be powerful enough to do that. According to Spencer, the GPU will be eight times faster than the base Xbox One and twice as fast as the Xbox One X. The CPU is said to be about four times more capable than previous consoles; however, it’s unclear which model that comparison is being made with.

We also have a few details about the cooling system that’ll keep these powerful components running. The Series X will operate on a single fan with additional heatsinks, and Spencer touts that it’ll be as quiet as the Xbox One X.

  • Xbox Series X Will Be Twice As Powerful As Xbox One X, Here’s What We Know

But What Will Games Actually Look Like?

Alongside the Series X reveal was the first look at a brand-new game from Ninja Theory. It’s a sequel to Hellblade: Senua’s Sacrifice called Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, and it’ll be the first game from the studio since the Xbox Game Studios acquisition.

Judging from the teaser we saw, we’re convinced that Series X will make the generational jump quite clear from a graphical standpoint. Halo: Infinite is still set to be a launch title, though we still haven’t seen the game running explicitly on the Series X.

  • Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2 Announced For Xbox Series X
Our first look at Senua's Saga: Hellblade 2, an Xbox Series X exclusive.
Our first look at Senua’s Saga: Hellblade 2, an Xbox Series X exclusive.

The New Controller

The Xbox One controller is arguably one of the best gamepads available. However, the Series X controller will feature some slight changes and additions. It’s a bit smaller overall and slightly reshaped (though not by much). It’ll feature a share button and a modular hybrid d-pad, and will still have like rumble triggers and haptic feedback. Additionally, the Series X controller can be used on the Xbox One, and Xbox One controllers can be used on the Series X.

  • Inside The New Xbox Controller For The Series X Console

How Cloud Gaming Fits In

Phil Spencer has made it very clear the Project xCloud isn’t here to replace local hardware and consoles. Rather, xCloud is built to be complementary to the Xbox ecosystem. The focus has been to make Xbox games accessible across different devices, and Microsoft has given its developer access to the multiple platforms to make sure all games run properly.

  • What We Know About The Connection Between Project xCloud And Xbox Series X

Pre-Orders And Release Date

Even if you’re already sold on the Xbox Series X, you’ll still have to wait to pre-order. Phil Spencer said that Microsoft would rather wait for folks to see all of what they’d be getting into before making a decision. Though we didn’t get any new information on a specific release date, this is your reminder that the Xbox Series X will launch in Holiday 2020.

  • Why You Can’t Pre-Order Xbox Series X Yet

Magic The Gathering Arena Expansion Theros: Beyond Death Announced At The Game Awards

New cards have been introduced into Magic the Gathering: Arena. A cinematic trailer that debuted during The Game Awards introduced the new expansion, which will surely please fans of the Magic the Gathering franchise.

The trailer is below, and some of the cards from it are available right now, including Black Lotus.

The expansion is now available to preorder.

PUBG Creator’s New Game Sort Of Revealed At The Game Awards

PUBG creator Brendan Greene moved on from the development team earlier this year and relocated to Amsterdam to work on the “special projects” division to cook up new ideas. One of those projects has now been revealed, as Playerunknown Productions revealed a game called “Prologue” during The Game Awards.

A teaser trailer for Prologue aired during the awards show, but it didn’t reveal much at all beyond showcasing some nice-looking environments. The developer’s website has a few more details: “Prologue is an exploration of new technologies and gameplay. Our aim with this game is to give players unique and memorable experiences, each and every time they play.”

Take a look at the announcement trailer below.

Nothing else is known about Prologue at this stage. Keep checking back with GameSpot for more.

The Game Awards 2019 News

  • The Game Awards 2019 Promising 10 Reveals
  • Watch The Game Awards Livestream Right Here
  • The Game Awards 2019 Stream Date
  • The Game Awards 2019 Nominees
  • Ex-Arkane Devs’ New Game Will Be Revealed At The Game Awards 2019

Axiom Verge 2: Switch Was A “Natural” Fit, Dev Can’t Talk About Other Platforms Yet

Axiom Verge 2 was announced this week as part of Nintendo’s Nindies showcase, and it’ll be exclusive to the Switch at launch. The first Axiom Verge is available widely, releasing first on PlayStation 4 before making its way to PC, PS Vita, Wii U, Xbox One, and Switch. It’s unclear whether the sequel will follow a similar verge, but developer Thomas Happ has talked to USGamer about launching on Switch, and given a few details about the game’s setting.

Asked about the game coming to Switch first, Happ says that the system “was kind of a natural platform to start with this time around. It seems as though every few years platforms shift in terms of popularity of indies and at the moment the Switch is really the best place for it.” The first game’s sales of the system have remained strong, while other platforms have dropped off. “It also helps that the Switch is the lowest spec of them all so I can be guaranteed that if I develop on Switch, the same thing will run elsewhere without making sacrifices,” he says.

That last statement suggests that the game will eventually come to other systems, but Happ can’t say anything specific yet. “I can’t really talk about where you’ll see Axiom Verge 2 other than the Switch. That said, it took several years before Axiom Verge reached every platform, and that worked out pretty well since each time I could devote all my energy to whatever platform it was currently releasing on.”

Axiom Verge is far from the only indie game to enjoy great success on the Switch. Indie-darling Celeste has been a huge success on the system, and 25% of all Shovel Knight sales are on Switch, to name just two examples.

Elsewhere in the interview, Happ elaborates on the game’s setting, saying that “depending on how you view things, Axiom Verge 2 is both in the future of Axiom Verge and in the past, but probably more of the latter.” He also hints at faster-than-light communication playing a part in the game’s narrative.

The original Axiom Verge scored an 8/10 in our review, and reviewer Peter Brown wrote that “Axiom Verge is a game that’s easy to fall in love with because it hits so many high notes.”

PUBG’s Final 2019 Update Adds Persistent Blood Splatter And Removes Purchasable Locked Crates

The latest patch for PlayerUnknown’s Battlegrounds, update 5.3, is now live on the game’s test server on PC. It’s the final patch for 2019, and although it’s not adding any new maps or weapons, it’s still an interesting one. The full patch notes outline every little change introduced, but the three most important additions are the new blood effect improvements, the removal of locked crates, and the new addition of cloud saves for your settings.

The blood effect changes mean that locations will now tell you more of a story about the fights that have erupted across them. Shots to the head or neck now have a more distinct visual effect, and blood impact effects on characters now better show off where they’ve been hit, but the most important change is that blood splatter will now show up on walls and floors. If a major battle happened in a building, you might walk in and find it coated in blood after this update.

Cloud saves for settings mean that you’ll easily be able to load up your settings if you switch to a different PC. Settings dependent on hardware can’t be saved, nor language settings, but you can bring most of your preferred settings over to another computer easily now.

Meanwhile, loot crates bought with BP will no longer have the possibility of being locked. This follows on from the developer’s promise to improve crate content, and random crate contents and percentages have been tweaked a bit. You have a 16% chance of getting a Wanderer, Survivor, Biker, Militia, or Raider Crate, a 17% chance of getting a Fall 2018 Crate, and just a 3% chance of a Venetian Crate.

PUBG is currently in season 5, and recently changed how its circle system works to deter camping. The rest of the 5.3 patch notes are below. It should be live on PC soon, and then for PlayStation 4 and Xbox One after that.

GAMEPLAY

Blood Effect Improvements

  • Headshots including the neck area produce more distinct visual effect to ensure clear identification of hit
  • Blood splatter will be shown on walls and floors if the character is hit near it
    • The size of the blood splash is unified across all color settings
  • Blood impacts on characters will now provide a more precise visual representation of which body parts have been hit

Vending Machine

  • Reduced the maximum number of uses per Vending Machine from 15 to 10

SETTINGS

Cloud Saving

  • Settings now can be saved to the cloud in the settings screen
  • Saved settings can be loaded in the settings screen when needed
    • This also allows players to load their account settings even when playing on a new PC
  • Settings that are dependent on hardware cannot be saved
    • GRAPHICS: All settings in the GRAPHICS category except “Language Setting”
    • GAMEPLAY: “Inventory Character Render” setting cannot be saved
  • The Cloud Saving option can be found at the bottom right of the SETTINGS screen
  • Test Server settings will only be saved on to the test server account

WEAPON MASTERY

Favorite Weapon

  • Players can now choose their “favorite weapon” in the Mastery tab
  • The weapon of choice will show up as the first weapon stat in your PUBG ID, regardless of whether the weapon has the highest level or not
  • A grey star will show up when player’s mouse is hovered over it. Clicking the star will favorite the weapon
  • A gold star will show up next to a chosen weapon when a player favorites it
  • Players can only favorite individual weapons and not categories
  • There can only be one favorite. That’s just logical
  • The favorite weapon will always show up at the top of players’ list, even when the sorting feature is used

UI/UX

Lobby Theme

  • Lobby background will change to a HAPPY HOLIDAYS theme once the patch is updated on live servers
  • To set the winter mood, the lobby music has also been changed

Weapon HUD Improvement

  • Heal and acceleration icons on the weapon HUD will now flash when activated

CUSTOM MATCH

Esports Mode

  • Boats and Aquarails now have fixed spawn locations and numbers on Sanhok

Observing UI Improvement

  • Enabled rear camera flip (180 degrees flip) by pressing Ctrl+R key during freecam perspective
  • Enabled adjusting camera movement speed during observing
    • Speed up: =
    • Speed down: –
  • Bullet tracer setting indicator will now be shown on the bottom left of the UI

REPLAY

  • Old replays cannot be played due to a version update to the replay system.

WORLD

  • All PGC signs and banners on Miramar have been removed

SURVIVOR PASS: BADLANDS

  • The current season of both the Survivor Pass and Survival Title System will end on January 14 PDT
    • Starting January 1st, there will be a countdown on the Survivor Pass lobby banner notifying players of the pass end date
    • A pop-up message will be displayed to users purchasing Premium Pass and Level-up items, alerting them of the time left until pass end
  • Premium Pass and Level-up items can be purchased until the Pass period ends

SKINS & ITEMS

The following items will be added to the Store after Update 5.3 hits live servers:

  • Added 2 BattleStat weapon skins (QBU and P1911)
  • Added 2 BattleStat weapon skins (SKS and P92)
    • Purchasable with BP
  • Added 3 Factory Worker skins
  • Added 4 Punk Destruction skins

Crates

  • Crates requiring keys to unlock are no-longer included in the pool of Random Crates purchasable with BP
    • For more information, please go to the following link: Dev Letter: Improving Crate Content
  • Random Crate contents and percentages have been adjusted as shown below:

Wanderer, Survivor, Biker, Militia, or Raider Crate: 16%

Fall 2018 Crate: 17%

Venetian Crate: 3%

BUG FIXES

Gameplay

  • Fixed an issue where the reticle would shake when ADS with a 6x Scope equipped
  • Fixed an issue where character movement would stutter when firing the DBS in certain situations
  • Fixed an issue where BRDM collision damage was higher than intended
  • Fixed an issue where a disconnected player could float when displaced by a prone character

World

  • Mitigated an issue which causes players to be bumped into the air when moving close to certain objects

Custom Match

  • Fixed an issue while observing and using the x-ray feature where the character outline is not visible after a player is revived
  • Fixed an issue where healing items would not show while spectating in free cam when in observer mode

UI/UX

  • Fixed an issue where only the ammo of one weapon is updated in the inventory when holding more than one weapon using the same ammo type
  • Fixed an issue where the character size would show incorrectly in lobby when moving to lobby after seeing preview of PGC 2019 bundle
  • Fixed an issue where character rendering is done late when changing gender while creating a character
  • Fixed an issue where item equipped icon and new item notification icon would appear at the same location in CUSTOMIZE menu

Arrow’s Crisis On Infinite Earths Crossover Just Killed A Major Superhero

Practically no one is safe in the latest Arrow-verse crossover–regardless of how significant a character they are in DC Comics mythology. Crisis on Infinite Earths, thus far, has killed off a version of Bruce Wayne (Kevin Conroy), as well as the Green Arrow (Stephen Amell). Of course, it remains to be seen how permanent the Green Arrow’s death is. Warning: The following contains spoilers for the third installment of the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover. If you have yet to see it, stop reading now.

Now, you can add The Flash to the list. No, the Barry Allen (Grant Gustin) you tune in to watch every week on The CW isn’t dead. Instead, it was the Barry Allen of Earth-90, played by John Wesley Shipp. For those having trouble keeping track of the infinite Earths of the Arrow-verse, that’s the same Flash from the 1990s TV series.

All this season, the Monitor (LaMonica Garrett) has told Barry (Gustin) that the Flash had to die during the Crisis. At no point did he think it was possible that the Flash in question was one from another Earth. In the third episode of the crossover, though, viewers saw that prophecy come to pass as Earth-90’s Flash disintegrated while trying to stop the wave of anti-matter from destroying Earth-1–which ultimately proved futile.

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Still, with his demise, The CW paid tribute to the original Flash TV series by flashing back to a memory of the elder Barry’s, in which he shares a tender moment with Tina (Amanda Pays), the character’s love interest on the show.

In the end, with Earth-90’s Flash dead and the entirety of the multiverse destroyed, a handful of heroes were sent to the Vanishing Point to figure out how to reverse everything that’s been unleashed.

In the comics, the Vanishing Point is a dimension that exists outside of the time/space continuum, meaning the anti-matter wave that killed off the various Earths did not harm it.

How those who survive–The Flash (Gustin), Supergirl (Melissa Benoist), Batwoman (Ruby Rose), Ryan Choi (Osric Chau), Sara Lance (Caity Lotz), J’onn J’onzz (David Harewood), and Lex Luthor (Jon Cryer)–will save the multiverse or any of the people that have been wiped out of existence is anyone’s guess. Another mystery is what happened to Superman (Brandon Routh), who also went to the Vanishing Point before he was replaced with Lex.

These are questions that won’t get answered until January 14, when the final two installments in the Crisis on Infinite Earths crossover air on The CW.

Kill Bill 3: Quentin Tarantino Has “An Idea That Could Be Interesting”

Quentin Tarantino, the director of this year’s Golden Globe contender Once Upon A Time in Hollywood, has previously said that his upcoming Star Trek movie might be the last one that he ever makes. But the director–who is currently working on a play and television series that he has not discussed the details of–is also thinking about how to bring back one of his classic characters.

In an interview with Andy Cohen on Sirius XM (embedded below,) Tarantino was asked about the long-rumored Kill Bill 3, and whether it will ever happen. “Well, I just so happen to have had dinner with Uma Thurman last night,” Tarantino says, saying that they had a “lovely night”. Speaking to the question of Kill Bill specifically, he says “well, I do have an idea of what I would do. That was the whole thing, conquering that concept of, ‘what’s happened to the bride? And what do I want to do?'”

Tarantino says that The Bride “deserves better” than “some cockamamie adventure,” but that he now has an idea that “could be interesting.” However, it’ll have to wait until he’s done with his current projects. “I wouldn’t do it for a little bit. It would be at least three years from now or something like that. But it’s definitely in the ether.”

Tarantino has talked about making sequels and spin-offs before, though, including earlier career plans to make a film that would unite the Vega brothers from Reservoir Dogs and Pulp Fiction, which never happened. However, that was planned as a prequel that became less viable as actors Michael Madsen and John Travolta aged. Kill Bill 3 undoubtedly has a greater chance of being made.